June 13, 2019
On any particular day, a doctor usually has approximately 20 patients to see – in addition to telephone calls, paperwork, and other administrative responsibilities. It leaves precious little time spent with each person, which is why it’s imperative to capitalize on that time and ensure you clearly comprehend the results of each visit.
At Continuum, our caregivers offer transportation and accompaniment for seniors to healthcare appointments, and recommend the following approach:
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions. With such a time crunch, your physician may have a tendency to communicate information to you quickly, and it’s up to you to hit the pause button to ensure that you fully comprehend everything that’s being explained and to speak up with any questions you might have, regardless of how small or seemingly unimportant you may think they happen to be.
- And, prepare beforehand for those questions. It could be hard to process everything being shared with you within the couple of minutes spent together with the physician. Developing a list of concerns in advance can help ensure nothing slips through the cracks. A few of the questions to consider include:
- What are the long and short term effects of my condition?
- What may be the reason behind this disorder?
- Is there a remedy?
- Where exactly could I obtain additional information?
- Will I require any specialized tests?
- What are the potential adverse reactions from those tests?
- When will I be given the test results?
- What medications are available to help with my condition?
- What are the potential complications of these medications?
- Are there lifestyle changes I ought to think of making?
- Take comprehensive notes. Bring along paper and a pen, or utilize the notes section of your smartphone or tablet, and jot down answers to your questions in addition to any other information the doctor provides. It may be useful to have a trusted friend or professional caregiver present throughout the appointment in order to make sure all the details are recorded.
- Include other medical experts. Don’t forget that although the instructions provided by the physician are important, other people in the senior’s medical team could possibly offer useful insight as well: nurses, pharmacists, physician assistants, dieticians, physical therapists, etc. Follow up with these professionals for added assistance with carrying out the doctor’s directions if warranted.
At Continuum, we’re always available to assist aging adults through medical appointments and procedures in a variety of ways, and to help implement doctors’ recommendations after returning home. We can provide transportation, medication reminders, preparation of meals that are in adherence with any recommended dietary plan, and many other tasks to ensure the best possible health for seniors. Reach out to us online by clicking here or call us at 314-863-9912 for more information about our senior services in St. Charles, MO! To learn more about the other surrounding areas we serve in St. Charles County and St. Louis County, please visit our Service Area page.